We’ve had an exciting day out collecting a car full of radios and valves.
It’s been a fantastic opportunity to visit a bit of Britain we wouldn’t normally see and a great excuse to stop and grab an all day breakfast from a greasy spoon. If only the journey was a bit longer, then we could’ve squeezed in a coffee and cake stop too.
Passing the travelling time with 6 Music and listing all the tracks that have a girl’s name in the the title, until it got far too tricky and we moved onto boys. Oh the joys of a Wayne’s Radios Road Trip – cue Lou Reed’s Perfect Day.
When we got back, the first radio out of the back of the car was this lovely looking 1950s cream Ferguson and the day was complete. I know, we’re very easily pleased. Now all that’s left to do is photograph and store the radios and sort and catalogue the valves. I think it may very well see us through the long winter months.
How did you spend your Perfect Day?
This super-sized radio has to be in the best condition of all of our radios. The cabinet remains intact with only a little crazing in the varnish. Very few wrinkles considering the years. The knobs and dials are all present and correct, even the Ferguson logo is in one piece. Made in 1955 and believed to be intended for export, it has somehow managed to stay behind, or maybe it has been overseas and the wanderer has returned.
Wherever it’s been for the last sixty years and whatever the story, it has certainly been well-loved and cared for. It needs a good home. Could you love a radio like this?
I feel a bit like I’m trying to sell an old lady’s dog. I think I need to stop now.
We often buy radios to meet a specific customer’s wants or needs. Having a request for a radio of a particular size or era, we seek out something suitable. On the hunt for a Ferguson Finesse, we spotted this collection. Magic eye – tick, both knobs – tick, piano keys – tick, case looks good – tick, but it’s miles away and do we really want all the others? Of course, you’ve guessed it. Before too long we’re in the middle of a bidding war and if someone else wants them, then of course we do too. Think two children fighting over the teddy in the toy box.
Having trecked half way across England to pick up the radios, our excitement quickly morphed into disappointment. The little speaker was full of woodworm and had to go straight in the bin. One of the bakelite cabinets was cracked beyond repair .. (there was no mention of that in the description). The lovely Ferguson Finesse … oh yes it did have all the bits usually absent after sitting around in someone’s garage for the last thirty or forty years, but sadly the extra bit of trim that fits under the knobs and piano keys – missing.
If you restore vintage valve radios, you never say die. Buying a collection is always, in the end, somehow so much more satisfying. It means you get the good, the bad and the ugly and some of our more successful radio rescues have been ones that should have been consigned to the skip.
Well, I like this one. We’ll let you know how we get on with the other radios and if anyone out there has the missing bit for the Ferguson Finesse, you may even be able to sell us your entire collection.
We took a dirty and damaged Ferguson Finesse radio from 1953 and brought it back to life. It’s had an electronic overhaul to get it working again and we’ve replaced the missing magic eye.
Now we’re left with a real dilemma. Despite our best efforts, we’ve had no success hunting down a replacement speaker cloth. None that would do the transformed radio justice. Do we leave well alone and accept that this sixty year old is a stunner and still in pretty good shape without a complete facelift, or do we compromise and go for straight, plain and wrinkle free?